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However, I did consider informally the sorts of analyses that would be helpful here and how they could paper writing services best be captured in principle. Many of the concerns pertaining to the alternative evolution paths appear to be based on risk. Similar trade-offs are involved in many of the other evolution paths. In this case, analyzing risk would likely entail the construction of some sort of probability model for the evolution, so that we could model the likelihood that various contingencies may occur and the effect that those contingencies would have. There is a great deal of existing work on risk modeling, both for the software industry specifically and also in more general contexts such as economics, which we could draw on to develop a model of risk in software architecture evolution. Estimating the time and cost of these operators is still not trivial, but it is considerably easier than attempting to understand the entire evolution graph at once. But there are also technical constraints in play in this evolution, and technical constraints are often simpler to analyze in purely structural terms than business constraints. Thus, even though detailed constraint and analysis definition was not a focus of this case study, in general terms it appears that our approach is well suited to capturing the sorts of constraints and analyses that are relevant to this case.

I revisit these goals here and discuss what conclusion may be drawn from this work. In this case study, I spent ten weeks at JPL and examined an ongoing software architecture evolution in its real-world context. Unfortunately, there is surprisingly little existing work examining real- world architecture evolution in depth—much existing research on architecture evolution relies heavily on artificial and toy examples (see section 7.

But this paper writing services best work is also helpful for evaluating the assumptions underlying our approach to software architecture evolution. Assess the usefulness of our framework for software architecture evolution in helping to plan evolutions and reason about trade-offs. Architecture modeling tools are used heavily at JPL, but their function is to represent existing systems, not to plan evolution. Through the modeling effort described in sections 4. Of course, this applicability result should not be overstated. Aside from the inherit generalization limitations of a single case study, which I will discuss at length in the Costco case study in section 5.

Bearing these limitations in mind, however, this case study does provide paper writing services best evidence that our approach can be applied to the concerns that arise in a real-world software architecture evolution. Much of our work in this area, including the case study in chapter 4, relies on research languages and tools, particularly Acme and AcmeStudio.

This case study shows that benefits in evolution planning can be achieved even without special-purpose, custom tools. Our approach can be adapted to languages and tools already in place at organizations like JPL—such as SysML and MagicDraw—in a straightforward manner. This bodes well for the adoptability of our approach.

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This case study is significant because it was the first detailed case study of a real-world software organization in the context of software architecture evolution modeling (see section 7.

Its results provide support for the applicability claim articulated in section 1. Indeed, a single-case study, by its nature, is an in-depth study of just one organization. Moreover, even beyond the inherent limitations of a case study, the JPL work had particular limitations that motivated us to pursue a second case study. Thus, this case study did not help us to evaluate the applicability of evolution path constraints and evaluation functions. Second, the JPL case study focused heavily on issues in adapting our approach to commercial modeling languages and tools (an issue to which I will return in section 6. Third, this case study was based on information that was gathered informally during the course of an internship. This sort of ad hoc data collection can be highly useful, particularly in cases such as this one where more elaborate data collection techniques are impractical. However, a more formal and regimented case study design permits generalizations that may not be warranted in a less formal case study such as this one. We thus decided to undertake a second case study with a rather different design, focusing on a different software organization, with more careful and methodical consideration of issues such as validity, reliability, and replicability.

I will discuss the differences between the two case studies further in section 5. This second case study was carried out at Costco Wholesale Corporation, a major U. How do practicing architects in a real-world software organization plan and reason about evolution? What difficulties do practicing architects face in planning and carrying out evolution? How well can our modeling framework capture the concerns that arise in a real-world architecture evolution?

After these initial, preparatory stages, the next phase of the case study was data collection. To collect the data for this case study, I spent two weeks at Costco, where I conducted semistructured interviews with architects and examined a variety of architectural documentation. In fact, I conducted two content analyses in parallel: one examining research questions 7 This chapter is an abridgment of a much longer case study report.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Shrikant Palkar at Costco Wholesale Corporation for facilitating this case study. I would also like to thank the anonymous interview participants for contributing their time. The opinions and findings in this document are mine alone and should not be construed as representing the policies or opinions of Costco Wholesale Corporation. Furthermore, where individual research participants are quoted, their comments are their own and should not be interpreted as representing the policies or positions of their employer.

The stages of the case study procedure appear on the left. Case study artifacts appear to the right of the stage in which they are produced.

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